Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar Is One of My Favorite Places
Near the heart of Newport Beach, California (technically, it’s in Corona del Mar but … come on, it’s like a block or two away from Fashion Island) is a place called Roger’s Gardens. It is one of the coolest businesses I’ve ever seen and within moments of walking through the entrance, Aaron and I knew it was going to be somewhere we spent a lot of time. In addition to a covered open-air seating full-service restaurant, it is a multi-acre garden, nursery, and retail experience. You can eat with friends and family, then design your landscaping, pick out themed Christmas wrapping paper, decorate your home, browse baby gifts, buy water fountains, purchase trees, browse planters and urns, and much more – including designing outdoor furniture! During a few of our trips, we’ve taken pictures and I thought those of you who love gardening and plants as much as we do would appreciate them. If you are ever in the area, do yourself a favor and set aside a couple of hours to enjoy it – it is well worth your time.
The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens
The restaurant itself, called The Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, is usually bustling. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the dining room but the official site has a great photograph of it that gives you an idea of the feel. Check out that link to see the menu.
Alright, now back to my photographs (but seriously, go look at their website to see how beautiful everything is!) …
This is the area where you wait to be seated. Alternatively, there is a bar where you can order drinks and wait, if you prefer.
I ordered a cheeseburger with homemade ketchup and french fries …
Aaron ordered lettuce wraps …
For dessert, I chose a tiny carrot cake in a jar …
… and Aaron decided upon a slice of cheesecake.
The food is locally sourced and you can see them making it in the kitchen. At some point, I’d like to try the banana and sweet potato bread pudding, which has white chocolate sauce, blueberry compote, vanilla bean ice cream, and toasted pistachios. I wouldn’t mind trying the dinner service, too.
Roger’s Farmhouse Nursery
Whether you eat at the restaurant or not, the core experience, at least to us, is browsing the huge selection of plants, trees, flowers, bushes, and related goods. The climate in Southern California means that so many different types of flowers can be grown, and thrive … we had nowhere near this amount of choice in Missouri. During the past few months, when we’ve had to run out and pick something up, particularly as we began furnishing our patios at our new place in downtown Newport Beach, Aaron and I have stopped to take pictures because we were amazed at the color and variety. Most of the plants are live but they also do floral arrangements for events. You can work with a landscaper to plan your home or office gardens. It’s amazing. Oh! And Roger’s Gardens has the original Disneyland gazebo, which was relocated more than forty years ago.
Here is a small sample from some of our visits over the past six months …
Along with our other favorite nursery in Newport Beach, Armstrong’s Garden Centers, we ended up solving most of our plant and flower needs. On the post about the importance of reading to give yourself an advantage in life and business, the white hydrangea on the bistro table came from Roger’s Gardens.
We also ended up picking up multiple trees, which we put in these beautiful white, glazed planters from Armstrong’s. Getting them home was an adventure …
But it was worth the effort. This is one of the four outdoor reading areas we’ve setup in recent weeks; in this case, right outside of the master bedroom.
The view when you are sitting in the chair is fantastic … I normally sit there with my reading, or a MacBook, if I am am working on private client letters for Kennon-Green & Co., with a fresh pot of black coffee Aaron has made for me in a French press. The only thing that remains missing are these oil bronzed, outdoor hurricane-style candle holders that we will use to hold outdoor LED candles that look like they are actually lit by fire. Unfortunately, those are on backorder and won’t get here until November but they are worth the wait.
My other favorite reading and writing spot is the second patio off the dining room because it is more enclosed, making it cozier. Anyway, enough of that, back to Roger’s Gardens!
The Shops at Roger’s Gardens
Around the edges of the gardens you can find different retail areas. You can browse for cookbooks or buy French milled soaps. You can search for the perfect greeting card or shop for kids’ toys. You can look at stationary or find a new scented reed diffuser to change your home for the season. You can buy patio heaters. And deck umbrellas. And enormous lanterns. For one of our young nieces, we picked up these amazing children’s books that showed the illustrated biographies of successful and/or influential women such as Coco Chanel, Emmeline Pankhurst, and Rosa Parks. We then found flower wrapping paper, bound them all together, and shipped them back to the Midwest, sending her a picture so she knew she had a surprise coming from us.
I’m really not doing justice to how wonderful this place is (at least from the customer perspective). And the best part? They do themed shops for different holidays! For example, watch these videos if you have a moment. One shows you the 2018 Halloween boutique, where they rebuilt Hogwarts from Harry Potter. The other is the 2018 Christmas boutique. I wish I had taken more pictures because there is so much more than I’m showing you.
The bottom line: if you are in Newport Beach (or, again, Corona del Mar), this is one of those places that is worth visiting if you love gardening, have an appreciation for the retail business, or just want to see an example of how a brilliantly-executed business plan looks. They even have workshops where you can sign up to learn new gardening and decorating skills. You can learn much more at their website.